Around the world scientists try to design successful cures against still incurable diseases, especially cancers. New targets for prevention and new agents for therapy need to be identified. We synthesized novel metal complexes [Au(L1)(L2)Pt]Cl2 and [Ru(L1)2(L2)Pt]Cl2 for determining their cytotoxic and apoptotic effects. The complexes are synthesized by using 1,8-diaminonaphthalene (L1), and bis-1,4-di[([1,10]phenanthroline-5-il)aminomethyl]cyclohexane (L2) as ligands. This is the first study to examine these metals and these molecules in cancer treatment. We elucidated the effects of test compounds with embryonic rat fibroblast-like cells (F2408) and H-ras oncogene activated embryonic rat fibroblast-like cancer cells (5RP7). Results showed that our complexes are more effective than cisplatin to kill ras-transformed cells. Although the [Au(L1)(L2)Pt]Cl2 compound showed a cytotoxic potency higher than [Ru(L1)2(L2)Pt]Cl2 against cancer cells, it proved to be almost five times less effective in decreasing cell viability over healthy cells. Au(III) compound selectively targets the cancer cells but not the healthy cells. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.